i’m trying to take a good look

i feel so grateful to be at barnard and to be where i’m at in life right now

yes, i’m not always feeling my 100% best, but i am so honored and grateful to have met so many people at this school — both peers and adults — who believe in me and want to do what they can to support me

so many adults here have verbally expressed their encouragement of my interests, ideas, and projects

i’ve had professors listen to me ramble with starry eyes about whatever project idea i’m on about, smile at me, then say: “you’re going to be so successful, i can’t wait”

it can feel both exciting and intimidating to be recognized in this way

you really see me and believe that about me. wow

people also comment on the impact i’ve already made, something i consistently struggle to perceive and absorb

both my fellow students and faculty often tell me that “i know everyone,” referring to both other students and administration

i never know how to respond to this ever

i vary between putting on a “you don’t really mean that” smile and a “that’s so sweet of you to say” smile

i normally laugh and roll my eyes a tad too

how do i show how good this remark makes me feel while still coming off as
humble, sincere, and thoroughly appreciative?

i don’t quite know what happened to me around the time i turned 18

i don’t know what changed in me to start pretending like i was giving ted talks every time i took a shower (i actually do have a few ideas, most have to do with my momッ)

and although i had recently entered into my i can change the world era, i started college honestly not feeling my best mentally

fall 2020 was probably one of the most difficult time periods of my life

it was the first time i ever said the words: “i think i have anxiety”

but even through those low moments (and yes, i have since gotten diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder), i still had this deep rooted commitment to myself that i was going to take advantage of every opportunity and connection available to me in these next 4 years

nearly 2 years in, and i think i’ve done a damn good job

it feels so exciting to know that there are so many people and resources available to me at all times

i feel so privileged to have access to this network, especially at this time in my life

it can be so hard to recognize your current success and impact when you’re like me, always focused on the next big thing

but i am trying to practice being grateful of where i am right now

i am trying to celebrate myself for all that i’ve accomplished thus far, and smile at myself for doing the thing i committed most to doing when i got to college: taking advantage of every opportunity and connection possible

i can’t wait to keep going.

and, importantly, i want to remind myself to ask others — especially the ones who have verbally rooted for me since they first met me — what i can do for them

the journey is long and beautiful

there may be one pretty, desired destination on the hike, but the whole hike is filled with memorable views

i’m trying to stop and smell the roses more

i’m trying to be more appreciative of everyone, everything, and every experience that got me to this moment

i’m trying to take a good look

engraved on my mother’s gravestone is a line from one of her poems: “these trees, these hills: take a good look.”

i’m trying mama, i promise i’m tyring

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